[Game Review] Disney Epic Mickey (Wii)

System: Wii (Exclusive)
Developer: Junction Point Studios
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release Date: November 25, 2010
Genre: Action Adventure

I can’t tell you why, but something about this game had me more than just a little bit excited before its release. It was very strange, because I’m not generally interested in anything Epic Mickey had to offer. I’m not really a huge fan of Disney. I’m not one who cares greatly about decision/consequence gameplay. And the game’s biggest selling point to hardcore gamers, having Warren Spector behind production, didn’t excite me in least because I had no idea who that even was.

Still, I couldn’t help but getting hyped up for what I had convinced myself was going to be the next great Wii game. And then it actually hit store shelves, and the flood of reviews stating it was merely “average” or simply “good” caused my interest to wane immediately, and the game fell off of my radar until Christmas, when I received it as a gift from Santa Claus.

I can now confirm that the game is merely “good,” as many other critics have stated, but there is something special about Epic Mickey that makes the experience much more satisfying than I had expected.

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[Movie Review] The Fighter (2010)

Hollywood produces, on average, about one boxing movie a year. Boxing. This year’s installment, The Fighter, might just be the best one ever. And yes, I know it’s lame to proclaim that after seeing a movie once, but The Fighter packs a hell of a punch all around, and also boasts 2010’s best performance: an enigmatic turn from Christian Bale as boxing prodigy/crack addict Dicky Eklund, while also elevating itself as being traditional, and unique, at the same time.

The Fighter centers on the improbable rise of “Irish” Micky Ward through the boxing ranks, despite having a ridiculously dysfunctional family in his corner. Ward is from Lowell, Massachusetts, and director David O. Russell does a great job right from the start of highlighting the pressure on the shoulders of Ward (Mark Wahlberg) to do something with his boxing career, and also the pressure on Dicky to return to his former glory in the ring while battling a severe crack addiction.

Lowell is portrayed as a locked door of a town, with Micky potentially holding the key to escape. As the movie develops, Micky becomes involved in a relationship with a dive bartender named Charlene (Amy Adams) who urges Micky to focus on his career without his family.

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The Top Five TV Shows of the Past Decade and One Year

Last year at decade’s end, I compiled a few best of and worst of lists to commemorate the first 10 years of the new millennium. However, when doing this, for some reason I neglected to compile any sort of list for my favorite entertainment medium; television.

And seeing as how I am without question the most reputable voice of opinion on the internet, it doesn’t seem fair to the masses who suckle at my every word not to put something together regarding my opinion on TV. So with that, here are the shows that wielded through the cluttered reality TV mess of the past several years and showed there will always be a place for quality, scripted television.

Honorable Mentions:

The Office (US Version, NBC), Modern Family (ABC) Extras (HBO/BBC), Arrested Development before it became unbearably smug and entirely self-referential (ie, Season One)

5. Flight of the Conchords (HBO)

Sure, this import from New Zealand only ran for two seasons. And sure, only one of them was truly good. But if there was any one season that yielded a spot on this list on its own individual merits, it’s the first season of Flight of the Conchords.

From the quirky songs, hilariously bizarre dialogue and situations and a nearly perfect cast, FOTC was one of the great comedy creations when it hit the airwaves in 2007, and even though it petered out surprisingly quickly, it still left a lasting impression on me and dozens of others.

4. Mad Men (AMC)

Perhaps the most critically acclaimed series of the past few years, it took me a few seasons to truly embrace this series about sexy people and their sexy adventures in the sexy world of 1960’s Madison Avenue Advertising. While I’ve enjoyed it from the get-go, for some reason it just didn’t make an overwhelming impact right away.

However, over the past few years, series creator Matthew Weiner (allegedly pronounced “why-ner.” Yeah, fucking right!) and the rest of the cast and crew have pulled me in with some of the most intricately plotted dramatic television today. And while it did create one of the most shockingly bizarre scenes in recent memory, Mad Men is arguably the least flashy great show of its time, and must be credited for being compelling without feeling as if it needs to constantly dazzle its audience.

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[Game Review] Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

System: Wii (Exclusive)
Developer: Retro Studios
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

The Donkey Kong Country series is, without a doubt, a staple memory for just about anyone who owned a Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The gameplay was rock solid, the music was outstanding, and the graphics were the absolute best you could find on any system. If you were old enough to play Donkey Kong Country when it came out, it probably still stands as one of your top SNES titles.

We’ve been waiting for a follow up to the series for quite a while now, and it is finally here in the form of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Nintendo has been bringing back a ton of old franchises lately, with games like New Super Mario Bros, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Goldeneye 007, and the upcoming and highly anticipated Kid Icarus game for the 3DS. It’s only fitting that DK should get the same revival, and who better to helm such an important project than Retro Studios, the team that put gamers behind Samus’ visor for the critically acclaimed Metroid Prime trilogy.

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[Game Review] Goldeneye 007 (Wii)

System: Wii (also on: Nintendo DS)
Developer: Eurocom
Publisher: Activision
Genre: FPS

Fans have been clamoring for it for ages now, and it’s finally here. This game is a remake of the classic Goldeneye 007 video game released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997, and without a doubt revolutionized the FPS genre on home gaming consoles forever. It was that N64 game that would lay the framework for titles like Halo and Call of Duty, paving the road for their success.

And now, in the form of this Wii game by the same name, Goldeneye 007 exists again, modernized and completely rebuilt from the ground up to take advantage of the Wii hardware. Developed by Eurocom, most known to Wii games as the devs who crafted the excellent Dead Space: Extraction, this modernized classic can be one of two things: a cheap cash in, or the real deal. Ladies and gentelemen, I’m here to tell you that not only is this game genuinely great, it may even be the best FPS the Wii has to offer.

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[Unfairly Ridiculed Alternative Lifestyles Review] Sleeping in a Sleeping Bag


For much of my life I have slept in a sleeping bag. Not simply on the rare occasions in which I would actually go camping, but on regular nights when I would sleep indoors. This was never something I did just for the sake of being weird as has been suggested, but because I genuinely believed it to be the most comfortable way to sleep. Believing in this school of thought firmly, I always assumed I would be able to convert my friends, or at the very least, not have them snicker at and mock me for how I chose to live my life.

Of course, I failed to take into consideration that most of the people I would consider to be “good” friends unfortunately are people who seemed to live so far up their own assholes it’s borderline stunning that oxygen was able to reach their lungs. It was enough to make me give up on spreading the word forever.

Well detractors be damned. After trying to abandon the bag for a short period of time, I’ve finally returned to my preferred way of life, and it’s my hope I can not only convince people this will help you achieve the best night’s sleep of your life, but also train them how to properly deal with the walking undead who take their inability to rest out on those of us who are just trying to live an honest life. Continue reading

[Movie Review] The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher has a real penchant for telling thoroughly engrossing stories. His filmography reads like a Dean’s List of phenomenal films, stuff ranging from the dark and moody Seven, to the super-charged and testosterone-filled Fight Club, and the cerebral and tension-filled Zodiac, Fincher has repeatedly told stories that feel like events.

The Social Network is no different. In fact, it could perhaps be Fincher’s greatest overall work, as it both captures and transcends the creation of popular megasite Facebook.com (speaking of which, be a fan of our page).

The film is the true story revolving around the creation of the incredibly popular website, and the main character of the film is the infamous Mark Zuckerberg, creator and founder of the famed social networking website. Zuckerberg is played by Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale, Zombieland), and we are immediately thrust into a conversation that on the surface could be just like any other disagreement a guy and a girl have had at a bar. Eisenberg’s Zuckerberg comes off as condescending, if not creepily confident in himself and his skills.

The film is a fascinating, at times tremendously engrossing, portrait of a brief period of time in recent history that has made a surprising impact in pop culture worldwide. Fincher lets the tension build and build throughout the movie, and the structure of the film was somewhat surprising to me.

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[Game Review] Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

System: Xbox 360 (Also on PC)
Developer: Remedy
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Genre: Action Thriller

When Alan Wake was first announced, gamers were ecstatic. It looked to be a unique, refreshing and innovative story-driven game with a fantastic premise, creepy environments, and some very good ideas. Then the game, for whatever reason, failed to find a publisher. Remedy had a decent amount of support and hype behind their game, and I never quite understood why no publisher had scooped up the rights for what was clearly a very promising title. The game fell out of the media’s eye and off of the gamers’ radars, presumably falling into development limbo.

After some amount of time passes without hearing any word on Wake, it explodes back onto the scene with news of finally securing a publisher, and that publisher was Microsoft. Armed with a new partner, Remedy was finally ready to release their game.

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[Automobile Review] 1994 Nissan Sentra Limited Edition


They say you never forget your first car. Of course, if you end up totaling said car by rolling it in a ditch just 26 days after acquiring your license, forever proving that the D- pass system is a foolish one to implement in Driver’s Ed, it doesn’t leave much time for it to make an impression. When this happens, it’s the second car that becomes memorable.

And I can say with great confidence that car no. 2 (and boy, was it ever), my grey 1994 Nissan Sentra “Limited Edition” was a memory for the ages.

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[The Top Five] Reasons Not to Dump Your Wii Just Because Nintendo Announced the 3DS

The title pretty much says it all.

Ever since the announcement of the 3DS, some Nintendo fans have been bringing up a silly argument in message boards. They feel, for whatever reason, that because the 3DS has 3D, superior graphical capabilities, and tilt and gyro control just like the Wii, that Nintendo’s current home system is inadequate and deserves to be pulled from their entertainment system shelves and tossed in the garbage.


Here are just five reasons why everyone who has made that argument needs to step back, take a breath, and reevaluate their stance.

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